This address has inspired as well as survived.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
‘….Testing whether that nation…can long endure.’
We are in the midst of that test, and ‘this’ nation, which was referenced 5 times in the address, is under attack from many fronts. But Lincoln could not fathom, (I believe) how subtle the new attacks would be, from a silent enemy of apathy, and from an overt enemy with traitors within our very borders, who mock the God of heaven, and threaten the rights of good people.
The gods of decadence, pride, immorality, atheism, have all supplanted what should be virtuous and decent, while ‘we the people’ are crippled by massive and cumbersome taxes, as well as weakening our military, and wrecking havoc on religious freedom.
This nation still has hope. God help us. Now. Again. Please.